It was reported Sunday afternoon, that Paul George will assuredly leave the Pacers as a franchise, optimally for the Los Angeles Lakers, come 2018.
Yes, he’s nearly guaranteed he’ll be in purple and gold next season.
For the Lakers, the time to obtain Paul George isn’t then, it’s now.
Above all else, Paul George wants to win a championship. Now, I’m not entirely sure as to why, but for some reason, he feels as if his best chance is in Los Angeles.
The Lakers feature a lot of young talent in their core, all selected high in the draft.
- Julius Randle – power forward, 7th overall in 2014
- D’Angelo Russell – point guard, 2nd overall in 2015
- Brandon Ingram – small forward, 2nd overall in 2016
Combined, these three averaged: (38.2) points, (10.5) assists, and (16.1) rebounds per game. There’s a lot of talent here, young maybe, but talent nonetheless.
With Los Angeles preparing to select with the 2nd overall pick yet again, adding some veteran talent is crucial. Yes, they signed Mosgov and Deng last year, but I mean someone who can contribute. A Lou Williams per say.
had a rough freshman year at Lakers academy. He received a lot of criticism for not displaying the same dominance he played with at Duke. He only averaged nine points a game, and was basically non-existent for the first half to three quarters of the year.
Paul George is the kind of player, and talent more importantly, that can provide that leadership to Ingram, who also plays the three.
The Pacers are Desperate
and know that if they wait too long, George will leave, and leave them with nothing at that. Letting their franchise player walk in free agency without receiving subsequent talent is not an option. For Indiana, any deal is better than no deal.
Offering a future first, or this years in fact will help to seal the deal in a more swift fashion. Zach Lowe, senior writer at ESPN, reported today that Indiana is not looking to waste any time acquiring new assets.
Going back to Magic Johnsons’ hiring with the franchise, he promised great change, and a star player. He made clear that NO ONE was off the trade block, aside from last year’s draft pick Brandon Ingram, who Magic looks highly upon.
Whether it’s D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, or even Nick Young, the return is far higher than what Los Angeles is losing.
Next Summer May Be Too Late
For starters, yes I know the Lakers’ could just wait and sign Paul George in free agency. Saving themselves from a one-year “rental” as most have been calling it.
However, as of right now, the Lakers’ don’t have enough space to offer George the max next summer. With the inevitable dumping of contracts only a year away, why not make the move now?
Food for thought.
A year from now, the Pacers could have beaten the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs, providing George hope, and faith to resign with Indiana.
A year from now, he could be on the Cavaliers, and have won his first NBA championship. Who do you think he’ll sign with then?
A year from now, Paul George could have injured himself again, holding no value for any team. I’m not wishing that on anyone, but the point stands that a year is a long time.
The Los Angeles Lakers are giving up assets to acquire Paul George, whether today, tomorrow, or next year. Their core is only getting younger, making each full season without veteran insight detrimental.
I’m not going to sit here and tell the Lakers which of their young and talented players are most expendable.
However, I will say Los Angeles.
The Pacers are ready to sell Paul George.
Are you ready to make the down payment?
All stats and information provided by ESPN, Twitter, and NBA.com. Featured image provided by ClutchPoints via Google Images.